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At least two people are dead and millions remain at risk for heat-related illnesses as a dangerous heat wave continues in India.
Two people died of heat stroke in Maharashtra, according to The Times of India. An earlier report of five deaths related to the heat was revised as the deaths were due to other causes, according to health officials.
Nagpur hit 43 C (109 F) on Tuesday, marking the thirteenth straight day of highs above 40 C (104 F). Highs are predicted to remain at or above this level through the coming week.
New Delhi endured eight straight days with the temperature exceeding 38 C (100 F) before temperatures fell just short on Tuesday with a high of 37 C (99 F). A high of 32 C (90 F) is more common in early April.
Millions of residents and animals will remain at risk for dehydration, heat exhaustion or heat stroke as highs at or above 38 C (100 F) continue to plague nearly all of India through at least the middle of the week.
The exceptions will be northeastern India, the Himalayas and coastal communities.
No heat relief is expected to grace the southern half of India where above-normal temperatures will continue into next week.
However, there is growing confidence that parts of northwestern India will get a welcome break from the heat later this week.
“The heat will ease during the middle to latter part of the week, from Wednesday to Friday or Saturday,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Jason Nicholls said. “It will mainly come to northwestern India, definitely in New Delhi and possibly down to Madhya Pradesh.”
“On the coolest day, temperatures may be trimmed to the middle 30s C (middle 90s F) in New Delhi,” Nicholls said.
The nighttime hours will also become more comfortable. Instead of staying in the lower 20s C (lower 70s F), lows in the upper teens C (lower to middle 60s F) will grace New Delhi later next week.
While there may be isolated thunderstorms, Nicholls does not anticipate any significant rain to accompany the cool push into northwestern India, outside of the mountains.
Residents should not get used to any heat relief.
“It looks to warm right back up in northwestern India by early next week,” Nicholls said.
Until the monsoon season starts and yields lower temperatures due to clouds and rain, anyone who must spend time outdoors amid the current and future heat waves is encouraged to drink plenty of water, take frequent breaks and wear light-colored clothing.
Any strenuous activities should be avoided during the midday and afternoon hours, the hottest times of the day.
In Bhira, residents are practicing a self-imposed noon curfew to protect themselves from the heat.
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